Texting with customers provides many benefits for the business and the customers. However, many companies are still unsure how to connect with their customers through SMS messaging.
Consumers are constantly bombarded with social media notifications from family, friends, and employers. Many people choose to turn off email and other social network notifications due to these disruptions. You must send a text message to advertise in real-time. For a campaign to succeed through text message marketing, it must be well-structured, legal, and provide relevant leads.
According to statistics, 86 percent of small company owners that utilize text messages for customer contact claim it resulted in higher levels of interaction. There’s good news if you’re having trouble figuring out how to make text messaging work. We’ve compiled a list of techniques and things to consider while texting customers to achieve your business goals.
What should You Do while Texting with Customers?
There are several things to consider while texting with customers. If you’re thinking about implementing business texting or already utilizing it, it’s likely because you want to interact with your consumers more effectively and offer the most satisfactory customer experience possible. Your customers wish for excellent service as well. About 86 percent of customers are prepared to pay for a superior customer experience—that’s how important it is.
Each communication channel you employ for business is unique, and some are better in some instances. It’s vital to realize that while business texting is distinct from emailing or making phone calls, it has its etiquette. Before sending the first text to a client, here are the basic Do’s to follow to get the most out of texting with customers:
1. Be personal
Customers appreciate when they feel like they are more than just a number or a purchase. Please make an effort to connect with them by using their name and including small talk in your messages.
Use SMS messages to research your prospects and clients. Ask about what matters to them, survey them on their preferences, and ask for their thoughts on your company’s performance. Use those findings to deliver them with relevant information and deals. Concentrate on providing content and offers that your prospects want to know about to ensure customized text marketing for your customers.
2. Be conversational
Shortcuts and superfluous text jargon should be avoided (lol, brb, ttyl) — texting remains a professional communication medium. At the same time, using emojis in text messages allows companies to connect with consumers in more exciting and less stuffy ways, such as by utilizing them.
It’s sometimes more advantageous to transfer conversations away from your texting platform. It is especially true if a consumer sends you an email or social media message that needs a detailed answer or clarification.
Text messaging is an excellent method for receiving customer service inquiries. However, as messages grow longer, it becomes increasingly difficult to convey effectively. A face-to-face digital meeting, phone conversation, or email may better address complex concerns.
3. Introduce yourself in the first text message
Introduce yourself and your business in the first text message. It is your opportunity to make an excellent first impression. When you introduce yourself, mention your company’s name and what it does. Including this information in your text messages will help customers remember who you are and what you offer.
Don’t assume they’ll know who is texting them based on prior conversations or the situation. Please give them the courtesy of informing them who you are and where you’re from before texting them. The introduction can help build consumer confidence, which results in increased response rates.
In addition, making a personal connection with your consumer by including their name in the message can increase engagement with your firm. According to E-Tailing, roughly 40% of clients buy more from firms that personalize messages across all platforms.
4. Include a clear call to action or guidance
Text messages have a limited number of characters. Thus your messages should be reasonably short, to the point, and with a clear call to action. Avoid loading questions and information for your customers. Some ideal inclusions in a text CTA are scheduling a call, confirming an appointment or delivery, and reviewing a link.
Ideally, it should only be one call to action or guidance per text message. The other reason is that you’re more likely to get a response to one request than many. It’s easier for your client to prioritize and, ideally, only need to ask them once if you focus on one thing at a time.
Remember, it’s a two-way conversation, so you want to give your consumers space to respond without overwhelming them or making the text seem intimidating. If you ask them to complete more than one action per text, you might have to ask more than once because things can easily be misunderstood.
5. Keep texts within business hours
It’s possible that texting during non-business hours will irritate your consumer. According to one poll, 27 percent of respondents believed texting outside of business hours was inappropriate. So, before sending a message, be sure to consider your customer’s time zone and the most suitable time for them to receive your text message.
If you’re texting a customer to confirm their appointment for the following day, you should send them during business hours. It’s not socially acceptable to contact a consumer outside of regular business hours. It’s also possible that they’ll cancel the appointment. It is more likely that they will reply during business hours. In case of no response, you still have an entire workday to fill in their appointment.
The best time to send an SMS message to your customers is generally considered to be between 8:00 in the morning to 9:00 in the evening.
What shouldn’t You Do while Texting with Customers?
Now that you know what to Do when texting your customers, here are five things to avoid doing in your business text messaging.
1. Don’t Overdo Messaging
While it’s easy to communicate every bit of news or promotion about your firm, please don’t overdo it with your SMS marketing. Texts can’t be ignored like a billboard or social media ad; if they get an excessive number of messages from your company, they’ll opt-out.
Instead, create your text message marketing campaign by limiting the number of texts you send to a particular (correct) number of clients and only sending them when necessary. According to a study done by Mobile Marketing Watch, 54 percent of people would unsubscribe if they received too many text messages.
2. Don’t use too many abbreviations or emojis
Using abbreviations and emojis in your texts can confuse customers and may even come across as unprofessional. Stick to the basics and save the emoticons for personal conversations.
Essentially, using well-known abbreviations in your texts will assist you in developing your brand and interacting with others.
The text message should, however, feel natural when you use it. You don’t want the text message to appear forced; instead, only utilize abbreviations and acronyms where they seem appropriate and do so sparingly. You may inadvertently make your text message difficult to comprehend rather than relatable if you use too many texting abbreviations. It implies you should avoid using more than one or two in a single text message in practice.
It’s not good to overuse any particular set of top texting abbreviations since they may come across as forced, distracting, or unprofessional, and the message might be challenging to comprehend.
3. Don’t send extremely lengthy URLs through SMS
While it’s great to include a link in your text message, be sure that it’s not an excessively long one. If it is, customers might not be willing to copy and paste the URL into their browser and could become frustrated with the process.
Including a shortened URL in your text message is a great way to ensure that your customer can easily access the information they’re looking for. According to a study by Movable Ink, shortened URLs are clicked on more often than complete URLs.
4. Don’t send serious and complicated messages
People are more likely to read light and easy-to-digest messages. So, when sending a text message to customers, avoid including serious or complicated information. Likely, they won’t read it, or worse, they’ll misinterpret the information.
Schedule a phone conversation or even a face-to-face meeting to talk about critical or complex issues if you use business texting.
Remember that the person on the other end of your text message has their problems, emotions, and to-do list. Imagining yourself in your client’s shoes is a fantastic way to get into this mentality.
5. Don’t use an unfamiliar number
When you first start texting with a customer, include your company name in the message. They’ll know who you are and won’t be confused by an unfamiliar number.
If you’re using a new number for your business text messaging, include your company name in the first message. It will help customers identify your brand and prevent confusion about who is texting them.
You may also want to use short code numbers to identify them with your company quickly. These five to six-digit numbers can be used for SMS marketing and other customer interactions.
What are the Best Practices in SMS Marketing?
If you’re considering SMS marketing, you might be unsure how to properly and effectively communicate with clients. Here are some of the SMS marketing best practices that you can use for the company’s approach:
- Allow Two-Way Conversations: SMS marketing may not be beneficial if it remains one-sided. Your customers should be able to reply to your messages, and you should respond promptly. Thus, consider having two-way conversations so that you can accept and respond to customers and continue to foster your relationship.
- Be Professional: Although texting is still a viable method for professional communication, it may be more entertaining and less formal than email. Text messaging allows companies to engage with customers in more creative and informal ways, such as using emojis. Emojis are popular because they add personality to conversations and make them more entertaining. Businesses must also determine which emoji symbols are suitable for their brand.
- Be Consistent and Respond Promptly: A study conducted by Mobile Marketing Association showed that 55% of consumers expect a response to their mobile questions within one hour. Therefore, if you’re using SMS marketing for your business, you need to respond to customers promptly. Furthermore, customers should receive consistent messages from you.
- Secure Personal Information: When texting customers, it’s important to remember that you’re dealing with personal information. Sensitive customer data should always be stored and transmitted securely. Review your company’s security protocol to ensure that all customer data is safe and protected.
- Allow Easy Opt-in or Out of SMS Marketing: Customers should be able to sign up for SMS marketing quickly, and they should also be able to opt-out if they no longer want to receive text messages from you. Be sure to include instructions on how to opt-in or out of your SMS marketing campaign so that customers can easily manage their preferences.